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Novak Djokovic faces backlash after fitness coach tests Covid-positive in Adria Tour

Soon after the news of Grigor Dimitrov testing positive for Covid-19, it was announced that the final of Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour in Zadar was cancelled until further notice.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: June 22, 2020 5:12:32 pm
Novak Djokovic is set to be tested in Belgrade. (Source: USATODAY)

After news of Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric testing positive for Covid-19 emerged, World No.1 Novak Djokovic is on the radar after his fitness coach tested positive for the virus.

The 33-year-old Serbian had been conducting the highly-criticised Adria Tour — which concluded its first leg in Belgrade recently — but now because of the tournament, competing players have found themselves at risk.

Dimitrov was the first to reveal that he had tested positive for the virus, saying, “I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive for Covid-19. I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused.” On Monday, Coric, ranked No. 33 in the world, revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Now, Djokovic’s fitness coach Marco Panichi has also tested positive for the virus, according to Serbian daily Sportski Zurnal, quoting Croatia’s health institute. Even Kristijan Groh, Dimitrov’s coach, has produced a positive result.

The tennis fraternity has hit out at the hosting of the Adria Tour, with players like Nick Kyrgios, Andy Roddick tweeting their displeasure.

Djokovic’s charity event, which had large crowds without masks, was earlier defended by him. “I know there have been some criticisms, especially from the West: ‘Why do we have a crowd? Why not having social distancing?’ But, it’s hard to explain to people that the situation is really different maybe in America or the UK than it is in Serbia or surrounding countries,” he said.

The tour has faced criticism for flouting social distancing rules as players were seen hugging, shaking hands during matches, and also partying at a night club.

Soon after the news of Dimitrov, Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic announced that the final of the Adria Tour in Zadar, Croatia was cancelled until further notice.

Now, players like Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev have to get tested to ensure whether they have contracted the virus which has claimed more than 467,000 lives worldwide. Meanwhile, the organisers of the US Open — scheduled to be held from August 31 in front of empty stands — have a new headache to worry about.

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